Christians Can Write Horror?
I have as a guest Rev. Teal L. Gray, N.D., who has recently released a new book, Spirited Tales. This book is an anthology of stories by several authors of whom I am honored to be included. I wanted to share the book with you all, but also share more about Teal and why she wrote and compiled this book.
What do you say to people who wonder how a Christian Minister writes in the genre of Horror and the Paranormal?
I explain that the Horror story defines good and evil very clearly for the reader, often as a cautionary tale. No other genre allows for spiritual and religious content more than horror. We all must navigate through this world and not everything or everyone is good or even honestly represented. You need to be knowledgeable about all the elements of the spirit world you are navigating through.
You wouldn’t go on a hike in unknown territory without familiarizing yourself with what type of animals, insects, snakes, and weather it has there, would you?
I want people to put down their own masks and explore what they really believe. Not what they are supposed to or are told to believe. I hope you create a conversation with yourself, your study groups, friends, and family to discuss in a nonjudgmental way spiritual and theological questions. My books have been a way for some people to bring these conversations forward.
What are your thoughts on reincarnation?
The Latin meaning of the word “reincarnation”, means, “entering the flesh again.” I have an example I wrote for my book, Shades of Angels, using ice as a representation of the physical body.
Water can be changed, but it’s never really gone. Think of your physical body as the ice, which is solid and considered physically here. The physical components that are part of your body, are fluid in the sense of being a living, ever changing system, like the liquid that could be seen and touched. Therefore, the ice stands for your body, and the liquid represents everything that makes up your internal and external physical self.
Now, all that reality of form merely changes once more, not making it any less real when it becomes steam, or as your life force (soul), which leaves your body when you die. The difference now is that it disappeared; we can’t see it. However, vapor or steam is very real. In fact, at the right temperature, it can power a train.
Reverse the steps to return to something you can hold in your hands and call real. How? Well, if you decided to capture the steam in a container, the steam will turn once again into the water as it cools. Take a container of water, put it in the freezer, and you are right back where we started with solid, “real” ice. I think this metaphor is one way to think of the possibility of reincarnation.
Do you feel like your education in Theology aided you with writing Shades of Angels and Spirited Tales?
Yes, definitely! Spending years researching all the different belief systems, I have a worldview, which I hope proves helpful to the reader.
Why did you write Shades of Angels?
I felt it was necessary to bring the dark angels to people’s attention. I had, especially over the last two years, had many people telling me they communicated with angels. This was wonderful because the angels were all good and helped the people order their lives. This alarmed me because after speaking with them, I realized they believed only good, well-intentioned angels interact with us.
My hope in offering you my beliefs in the shades of life is to bring understanding to an area where many only see the lighter side. In fact, there are two sides to everything – two points of view on any given situation, and two sides to every story. I look at life from both sides. Delving into the darker energies, which are around us every bit as much as the lighter. In understanding this balance, you are less likely to fall for a trap or overlook a helpful intervention.
When did you become aware of Angels?
When I was, young I don’t remember making any distinction between angels and other spirits. I was always amazed by stories about Angels that people told me. Christmas angels and cherubs in my mind were gentle helpers to humans. Only in adulthood, after encountering light and dark angels and spirits, did I begin to understand the complex and gentle balance we walk between the two worlds, as well as the shades of personalities and intentions of these powerful created beings.
You are also a paranormal investigator, what did you learn about spirits during your investigations?
Generally, they are curious and excited to be heard.
There are distinct types of hauntings: residual and intelligent. Everyone should know there are different entities that you could be in contact with that gives interspecies communication a whole new meaning.
• Departed humans, such as ancestors and loved ones
• Spirit guides, Saints, Ascended Masters and Intergalactic Entities
• Light Angels, who were never human but are created beings, operating on a very high vibration that protects and heals
• Dark Angels are powerful created beings that feed on the negative lower vibrations and do not have your best interest as part of their plan
So, protecting yourself at the beginning and end of your investigations is essential.
Your new degree certification is in Eco-Art Therapy. What is Ecopsychology Nature-Connected Education? Why is this type of education important to you?
This degree is accredited through Portland State University and encompasses Art, Science, Counseling, and Healing with Nature, which works because it’s done with the consent of Nature, helping us create authentic moments that, at times, go neglected or have never fully been tapped into.
I have countless clients with stories of unfulfilling, hamster-wheel lives lived in office cubicles with no windows, 30-minute lunch breaks and the inability to even go to the bathroom if not within the 2 daily 15-minute breaks.
I know this first-hand. There was a time where my career in business consumed most of my energy. One particularly late evening as I came burned out, it hit me. As I reached the front gate, a voice asked, “How long has it been since you looked up?”
Wow! It had been so long that I could not remember. Weeks, maybe months! This was a major wake-up call for someone who spent their youth outdoors…everyday. This was also the beginning of repairing my connection to Nature in order to assist others.
Thanks, Teal for sharing your book and insights with us as well as the opportunity to be part of the process.
Blessings! Linda Rhinehart Neas
Spirited Tales is available on Amazon both in Kindle and paperback.
PHOTO: By Tui Snider